World Heart Day is observed on September 29 every year and the intention behind celebrating the day is to increase public awareness of cardiovascular diseases, including their prevention and their global impact. Dr Subash Chandra, Chairman, Cardiology, Cardiac Sciences, Cardiac Electrophysiology- Pacemaker, Interventional Cardiology, BLK Hospital says, “World Heart Day serves as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of heart health. This year’s theme, ‘Use Heart, Know Heart,’ assumes profound significance in the context of comprehending the cardiac functions of a healthy heart.” On the eve of World Heart Day 2023, Dr Chandra shared with Zee News Digital the importance of monitoring heart rhythm and the significance of keeping a tab on heart health.
Q. Why Is It Important To Monitor Your Heart Rhythm?
Dr Subash Chandra: Monitoring your heart rhythm is a pivotal aspect of cardiac health, especially vital for those experiencing sporadic symptoms like dizziness, heart palpitations, chest pains, or shortness of breath as these symptoms can be elusive and inconveniently timed, often occurring far from a doctor’s office. Continuous surveillance detects irregularities and can also help to track treatment progress.
Q. What Are The Warning Signs To Look Out For?
Dr Chandra: Heart rhythm monitoring can detect warning signs such as palpitations, irregular heartbeats, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, swelling, and stroke-like symptoms.
Q. How To Monitor Hearth Rhythm?
Dr Chandra: People can use wearable fitness trackers that can continuously monitor their heart rate throughout the day, providing valuable data on their heart’s performance. This also enables you to detect any irregularity at an early stage and prompt treatment in case of detection of a serious heart condition. However, individuals with known infrequency or those at higher risk of cardiac arrhythmias may be advised by the cardiologist to use advanced technology, like the insertable cardiac monitor (ICM). Implanted just beneath the skin through a minimally invasive procedure, the ICM provides uninterrupted monitoring of heart’s rhythm, particularly for signs of atrial fibrillation – a condition that can lead to stroke if left undiagnosed. Latest developments in technology have taken this monitoring to the next level by wirelessly transmitting real-time data to smartphones and, subsequently, to the doctor. This means doctors can have immediate access to crucial information about heart’s performance, without geographic restrictions.
Q. How Frequently Should One Monitor Heart Rhythm?
Dr Chandra: Monitoring frequency depends on health, risk factors, and history. Non-patients undergo routine check-ups, while patients may require continuous monitoring through devices like ICMs and mobile ECGs. ICMs provide both healthcare providers and individuals with peace of mind, assuring them of a reliable means to monitor cardiac health.
Q. What Should The Maximum Pulse Rate Be While Doing High-Intensity Exercises?
Dr Chandra: The maximum pulse rate (also known as maximum heart rate, or MHR) during high-intensity exercise can vary from person to person and is influenced by factors such as age and fitness level. A commonly used criterion to estimate maximum heart rate is: MHR = 220 – Age. For example, if you are 30 years old, your estimated maximum heart rate would be 220 – 30 = 190 beats per minute (bpm). During high-intensity exercise, the target heart rate falls between 70% and 85% of their MHR.